by P.H. Wise
A BtVS Crossover Fanfic
Disclaimer: The DC Universe and its associated characters is the property of DC comics. The Marvel Universe and its associated characters is the property of Marvel Entertainment LLC. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is owned by Fran and Kaz Kuzui.
The morgue was cold and quiet, and the autopsy room colder still. It was a sterile, empty place. Soft fluorescent lighting all but washed out every shadow over a grey tiled floor. The body lay covered by a sheet upon a steel autopsy table in the center of the room. Only the distant hum of refrigeration broke the empty silence of the place. High, opaque windows allowed little in the way of light into this basement room.
A faint murmur of voices broke the empty silence. The voices grew louder. Presently the door swung open, and Wolverine, clad all in yellow and blue, an unlit cigar in his teeth, came walking through it, followed closely by Captain America, Iron Man, Spider Man, Prodigy, and Ms. Marvel. They seemed subdued as they entered the chamber; the warmth of the living was not a thing well suffered by a place for the dead.
Captain America’s eyes took in the sight of the body covered by the sheet upon the table, and his expression became grim. “All right, Logan,” he said. “You said you had something to show us.”
Wolverine nodded. “We got problems. All of ya need to hear what happened at Project Superman.”
Ms. Marvel spotted the body, and the others a moment later. Her gaze did not linger. “So it's true,” she said, her tone flat, and clipped: deliberately professional. “Jess is dead." The others looked to her, and she offered further explanation, “The kids were talking. Word gets around.”
Wolverine directed a questioning look Prodigy’s way, and the boy was quick to shake his head. “It wasn’t me, sir,” he said.
Wolverine let out an annoyed snort. “Kids.” He looked back to the group. “We got bigger problems than a dead Avenger.”
Ms. Marvel’s expression darkened. “The fact that we just lost a friend and a teammate seems like a pretty big problem to me.” The words hung in the air heavily, silence lingering until she went on, “Except we’re not down one teammate, are we? We’re down two.”
Iron Man’s tone was carefully neutral. “The Sentry was an unstable element,” he said. “As useful as he was to have on the team, it was only a matter of time before he had a meltdown. We're just lucky the X-Men were able to deal with him when it happened."
“Tony,” Captain America said, disapproval clear in his voice. When Iron Man did not reply, he continued, “The Sentry was a valuable member of this team. He may have had problems, but he is and will continue to be missed."
Silence, punctuated only by the hum of refrigerators.
Wolverine got impatient. He turned to Prodigy. “Show ‘em,” he snapped.
Prodigy held out his hand in a fist, displaying the ring upon his finger for all to see.
“... is that what I think it is?” Iron Man asked, surprise audible even through the electronic processing of his voice.
“That depends, “Wolverine said. “Ya think it’s a Lantern power ring?”
Captain America recognized it, then. “Kyle Raynor,” he murmured.
“Rayner,” Iron Man corrected.
Ms. Marvel let out a breath, her expression the look of one suddenly reminded of someone she hadn’t thought of in years. “I remember.”
Spider-Man frowned, though the others couldn’t see it through his mask. “Uh. Color me clueless?”
“Rayner,” Captain America said, accepting the correction. “Right. The Green Lantern.” He turned to Spider-Man. “It was before you were with us. He was a member of the superhero team from an alternate Earth that we worked with during the Krona Incident. They were called the Justice League, and we now know they were from this world. Iron Man can give you access to the relevant files."
"Think of them as an alternate universe version of the Nova Corps," Ms. Marvel said.
“Yeah,” Spider-Man said, “That doesn’t help.”
Prodigy interrupted the older heroes. “The important thing is that the ring was monitoring the situation at Project Superman, and it’s the only reason any of us made it out alive. Project Zero was…” He trailed off, disturbed by the memories of the battle.
“He was like the Sentry,” Wolverine said. “Maybe he was this world's version of him." That garnered troubled looks all around.
“He killed Spider-Woman,” Prodigy said. “I can show the recording if you want to see it. But when she died, she stopped being Spider-Woman.”
Ms. Marvel raised an eyebrow. “Stopped being Spider-Woman?” she echoed.
Wolverine pulled the sheet off the body on the table, revealing the dead female Skrull still wearing Spider-Woman’s costume.
Captain America saw the implication immediately. He and Iron Man exchanged troubled looks.
Ms. Marvel’s expression darkened even further. “Oh, hell,” she muttered.
Spider Man looked surprised even through his costume. “Wait, She-Me’s a Skrull?” he asked.
“That ain't all,” Wolverine said. He looked to Prodigy. "Show them the other recording."
With an act of will, Prodigy did so.
Wolverine chomped down on his cigar. “Like I said. We got problems.”
So yeah. I’m working on the next chapter, and while I know that this scene belongs in it, I couldn’t find a spot where it fit well or naturally. Hence, interlude. In related news, I'm no longer hopelessly busy with school and work, so I should be able to actually finish the next chapter in the near future.